Buddhism and Manhood.

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby maybay » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:03 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
"gregkavarnos"Actually i believe that there is a HUGE difference. Like the difference between Christ being the Son of God or a very successful human teacher. One approach deifies the Buddha putting him beyond the realm of us mere mortals, the other approach places us, here and now, in the same league as the Buddha with the same capcities as humans, capable of following the same path. It is one thing to try to follow a "god" and another thing to try to follow a person.

It doesnt matter who you are following wether its a person a god or a Buddha,the path is still the same.
So it really doesnt matter if you are trying to follow a "man? A "god" or a "Buddha" the path will again be the same.
It would be like a person saying I need to learn 2+2=4 from a man,it would be hard for me to learn 2+2=4 from a god.
Cause following the god will somehow make the same teaching harder.

It does matter. We take refuge in the Buddha, not in worldly beings, and not just in Dharma. Devadatta even believed in previous Buddhas but not Shakyamuni Buddha, and he suffered for it.

Son of Buddha wrote:Okay so he was born into this world already knowing he was going to be Enlightened,he proclaimed himself the highest in the world,so greg why would he claim he was the highest and was aboit to become Enlightened if he hadnt yet even dicovered the Basic 4 noble truths or the path to Enlightenment?

Why proclaim himself the highest in the world and say he was going to be Enlightended in this life time,then all of a sudden PRETEND to be a regular prince who didnt understand even the BASIC 4 noble truths of Buddhism?

If I say 'I KNOW I'm going to be enlightened' its like anyone who says they're going to earn a million bucks, or Richard Hatch saying he'll win Survivor (he won). Its a sign of his conviction, and like all Buddha's acts, it's a teaching to us: ignore nay-sayers who say we're screwed, and develop the will to enlightenment.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:41 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:It doesnt matter who you are following wether its a person a god or a Buddha,the path is still the same.
I think you mean that it does not matter "for you" whether..., like I said "I believe" that...
So it really doesnt matter if you are trying to follow a "man? A "god" or a "Buddha" the path will again be the same.
It would be like a person saying I need to learn 2+2=4 from a man,it would be hard for me to learn 2+2=4 from a god.
Cause following the god will somehow make the same teaching harder.
I disagree. I am not a god so how can I even begin to understand how a god moves, let alone follow them? God moves in mysterious ways! :tongue: But seriously, I can identify with a human, I cannot identify with a "god". If you can identify with a "god" then go for it. My current teachers are not "gods" they are humans. I don't even know what a "god" looks like, let alone take maths lessons off them. I have seen realised masters though, they look pretty human to me.
Okay so he was born into this world already knowing he was going to be Enlightened,he proclaimed himself the highest in the world,so greg why would he claim he was the highest and was aboit to become Enlightened if he hadnt yet even dicovered the Basic 4 noble truths or the path to Enlightenment?
You are going to have to take that one up with the Buddha. Personally I don't go for the virgin birth, seven steps, pointing at the sky, talking at birth fairy tale. I believe that it is all metaphors.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:45 pm

maybay wrote:If I say 'I KNOW I'm going to be enlightened' its like anyone who says they're going to earn a million bucks, or Richard Hatch saying he'll win Survivor (he won). Its a sign of his conviction, and like all Buddha's acts, it's a teaching to us: ignore nay-sayers who say we're screwed, and develop the will to enlightenment.
My dear maybay, I do believe you have misinterpreted what I meant when I said... I am not a nay sayer, quite the contrary, I believe that enlightenment is "attainable" for all of us, here and now, exactly as we are.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Hey Maybay

I agree with you 100% we shouldnt take refuge in any worldly being,only the Buddha.

But my comment wasnt actually about following gods I was simply useing the topic and anology that greg provided.
Greg is saying that a person is essentially screwed cause of the original Enlightened Buddha concept.
And that its better to follow man who has acheived Enlightenment in this life than follow a Buddha who was already originally Enlightened.

My entire postition is it doesnt matter wether you follow an originally Enlightened Buddha or a man who attained Buddhahood in this life,either way its a Buddha and you are going to receive the same teachins.

(again my comment about gods and humans is me using the concepts and analogies greg has already put into place from his last post)

As far as the Discussion on Buddhas birth and knowing he was to be Enlightened.
Would you make the claims you were going to be a Buddha if you were an ordinary man who didnt even know the Buddha or Buddhism existed?

Which is my point Shakyamuni already knew these things before he even came down,for people to say he lived as a worldly prince and "discovered" the basics of Buddhism goes against the very message of his birth story,which wasnt that he was an ignorant human who didnt know of Buddhism/Dharma and had yet to discover it.
His birth story paints the picture that he had already discovered Buddhism,knew what needed to be known,and knew this was his time.

(hence why he then pretended to be a worldly prince after he had been born saying he was the highest one and this his last birth).
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby maybay » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:38 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:Greg is saying that a person is essentially screwed cause of the original Enlightened Buddha concept.
And that its better to follow man who has acheived Enlightenment in this life than follow a Buddha who was already originally Enlightened.

This is denunciating Mahayana and advocating merely Hinayana teaching.

Son of Buddha wrote:My entire postition is it doesnt matter wether you follow an originally Enlightened Buddha or a man who attained Buddhahood in this life,either way its a Buddha and you are going to receive the same teachins.

Well this is simply not the case. Shakyamuni Buddha didn't teach the path to complete enlightenment—and you can quote me on that. He taught the path to the end of suffering, to liberation, Nirvana. Or how to be an Arhat.

Son of Buddha wrote:As far as the Discussion on Buddhas birth and knowing he was to be Enlightened.
Would you make the claims you were going to be a Buddha if you were an ordinary man who didnt even know the Buddha or Buddhism existed?

Suppose an astrologer named Asita told my parents?
In any case, the idea of liberation, omniscience, or whatever state of accomplishment was nothing new to 6th century Magadha. But early Indians were very pragmatic. They wouldn't ask nonsense questions, and they don't rely so much on a common understanding of words like we do. We just accept that liberation and enlightenment are the same thing, that Hinayana Buddha and Mahayana Buddha are the same.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:43 pm

maybay wrote:This is denunciating Mahayana and advocating merely Hinayana teaching.
Oh, gee whiz, that's me damned to vajra hell forever then isn't it?
Well this is simply not the case. Shakyamuni Buddha didn't teach the path to complete enlightenment—and you can quote me on that. He taught the path to the end of suffering, to liberation, Nirvana. Or how to be an Arhat.
So who taught the path to complete enlightenment then (just to throw out a nonsense question)?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:44 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:I agree with you 100% we shouldnt take refuge in any worldly being,only the Buddha.
Gee, so now we take refuge in different Buddhas? So whose Buddha is the right Buddha then?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:I agree with you 100% we shouldnt take refuge in any worldly being,only the Buddha.
Gee, so now we take refuge in different Buddhas? So whose Buddha is the right Buddha then?


Where did I say we take refuge in different Buddhas?
what are you talking about?
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:27 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:Where did I say we take refuge in different Buddhas?
what are you talking about?
I consider the Buddha a worldly being, a human being to be exact.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby maybay » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:48 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
maybay wrote:This is denunciating Mahayana and advocating merely Hinayana teaching.
Oh, gee whiz, that's me damned to vajra hell forever then isn't it?
Well this is simply not the case. Shakyamuni Buddha didn't teach the path to complete enlightenment—and you can quote me on that. He taught the path to the end of suffering, to liberation, Nirvana. Or how to be an Arhat.
So who taught the path to complete enlightenment then (just to throw out a nonsense question)?

Jigten Sumgon.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:51 pm

This is serious matter, I see. :rolling:

I don't find that idea of an enlightened Buddha manifesting in a human form to guide sentient beings strange at all. I think that's how Buddhas show compassion right. They don't just become enlightened and hide out in Nirvana.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:53 pm

maybay wrote:Jigten Sumgon.
I guess we all have our delusions to live. Yours sounds pretty harmless.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:11 pm

maybay wrote:Well this is simply not the case. Shakyamuni Buddha didn't teach the path to complete enlightenment—and you can quote me on that. He taught the path to the end of suffering, to liberation, Nirvana. Or how to be an Arhat.


That is true and if and only if we believe that Mahayana sutras were not expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:12 pm

"gregkavarnos"
I consider the Buddha a worldly being, a human being to be exact.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

here is a link to the sutta

here is the jist

On one occasion the Blessed One was traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya, and Dona the brahman was also traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya. Dona the brahman saw, in the Blessed One's footprints, wheels with 1,000 spokes, together with rims and hubs, complete in all their features. On seeing them, the thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! These are not the footprints of a human being!"

Then the Blessed One, leaving the road, went to sit at the root of a certain tree — his legs crossed, his body erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. Then Dona, following the Blessed One's footprints, saw him sitting at the root of the tree: confident, inspiring confidence, his senses calmed, his mind calmed, having attained the utmost control & tranquility, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a naga.[1] On seeing him, he went to him and said, "Master, are you a deva?"[2]

"No, brahman, I am not a deva."

"Are you a gandhabba?"

"No..."

"... a yakkha?"

"No..."

"... a human being?"

"No, brahman, I am not a human being."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:36 pm

Footnote 2 of the translation:
Dona phrases his question in the future tense, which has led to a great deal of discussion as to what this entire dialogue means: Is he asking what the Buddha will be in a future life, or is he asking what he is right now? The context of the discussion seems to demand the second alternative — Dona wants to know what kind of being would have such amazing footprints, and the Buddha's image of the lotus describes his present state — but the grammar of Dona's questions would seem to demand the first. However, A. K. Warder, in his Introduction to Pali (p. 55), notes that the future tense is often used to express perplexity, surprise, or wonder about something in the present: "What might this be?" "What on earth is this?" This seems to be the sense of Dona's questions here. His earlier statement — "These are not the footprints of a human being" — is also phrased in the future tense, and the mood of wonder extends throughout his conversation with the Buddha.
It's also possible that the Buddha's answers to Dona's questions — which, like the questions, are put in the future tense — are a form of word-play, in which the Buddha is using the future tense in both its meanings, to refer both to his present and to his future state.

The Buddha's refusal to identify himself as a human being relates to a point made throughout the Canon, that an awakened person cannot be defined in any way at all. On this point, see MN 72, SN 22.85, SN 22.86, and the article, "A Verb for Nirvana." Because a mind with clinging is "located" by its clinging, an awakened person takes no place in any world: this is why he/she is unsmeared by the world (loka), like the lotus unsmeared by water.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby PorkChop » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:14 pm

Leo Rivers wrote:So, is the Buddha a guy who did good - really, really, really good, or is he a color out of space or 'never was a person just pretended to be?' [we are setting aside the "at the Ultimate level we are Buddha" model for this discussion]

Is a Better than Us Buddha necessary for us - or the practices that would make us Buddhas? How can we fools of flesh follow in the footsteps of a ghost and have it be meaningful, even if we are ourselves a whiter shade of pale?


To me the guy's more symbolic than anything, so yeah, I'd be in the "manifested normal traits as a teaching" camp.
Whatever the guy may have been historically, that part's pretty much lost, and what we have left is a metaphor used as a lesson imho.
That being said, the whole "better than us" thing I find more typical of the "he was just a man" crowd & the Theravadans - Mahayanists ultimately aspire to & strive for that exact level of attainment (even though there is no attainment ;) ), so I would have to disagree with that premise.

Throughout the Agamas/Nikayas, the Buddha makes some pretty outrageous claims, the one quoted about him as a baby I've heard interpreted a couple ways. Theravadans will tell you that the Buddha was saying that about himself & his level of attainment, unmatched in the world, none higher than the Buddha, nobody should even try to compare. Perhaps more modern Theravada says that it's all the same level of attainment for Arahats, but that still doesn't explain the passage on Dana in the Nikayas that echoes the sutra in 42 parts that distinctly rates Buddhas above Pratekyabuddhas & Arahats. My Mahayana teacher has a different interpretation of that passage about the baby, his version is that the Buddha is not talking about himself as an individual, but instead that there is nothing higher than Buddha Nature. I tend to prefer my teacher's interpretation even if it's not the most traditional.

I don't really buy into the criticisms in the rest of this thread. I don't see how that quote about Pali grammar does anything to disprove the statement made in SoB's post. I don't see how the quotes in the MN that describe the Buddha's knowingly descending from Tushita heaven into his mother's womb and the Mahayana doctrines (similar to that of Mahasangika sects) based on manifestation do anything to introduce an Atman. Whether you accept them or not, the Jataka tales combined with the rest of the Agamas/Nikayas lay out most of the path to Buddha-hood, which was further fleshed out in the Mahayana.

I'm a bit surprised to be hearing some of these views on a Mahayana board.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:00 pm

PorkChop wrote:I don't see how that quote about Pali grammar does anything to disprove the statement made in SoB's post.
It wasn't my goal, I was just giving the entire context.
I don't see how the quotes in the MN that describe the Buddha's knowingly descending from Tushita heaven into his mother's womb and the Mahayana doctrines (similar to that of Mahasangika sects) based on manifestation do anything to introduce an Atman.
They don't, I said that they leave the door open to... If you don't believe me then check out this thread.
I'm a bit surprised to be hearing some of these views on a Mahayana board.
You ain't heard nothing yet! :smile:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:09 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I consider the Buddha a worldly being, a human being to be exact.
Actually, I should have been a litle clearer. A human being that achieved liberation as a consequence of his past actions and his practice during his final incarnation. I consider him a human being even after his enlightenment. He still had to eat, drink, sleep, shit, he got sick, tired, old, etc... An enlightened human being.

As an aside, and seeing how we are throwing Sutta at each other, you also find accounts like this in the Pali Canon:
AN 2.5 PTS: A i 50
Appativana Sutta: Relentlessly
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2006–2013
"Monks, I have known two qualities through experience: discontent with regard to skillful qualities[1] and unrelenting exertion. Relentlessly I exerted myself, [thinking,] 'Gladly would I let the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if I have not attained what can be reached through human firmness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing my persistence.' From this heedfulness of mine was attained Awakening. From this heedfulness of mine was attained the unexcelled freedom from bondage.

"You, too, monks, should relentlessly exert yourselves, [thinking,] 'Gladly would we let the flesh & blood in our bodies dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if we have not attained what can be reached through human firmness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing our persistence.' You, too, in no long time will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for yourselves in the here & now.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will relentlessly exert ourselves, [thinking,] "Gladly would we let the flesh & blood in our bodies dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if we have not attained what can be reached through human firmness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing our persistence."' That's how you should train yourselves."

Notes
1. In other words, not allowing oneself to rest content merely with the skillful qualities developed on the path. In the Buddha's biography, this point is illustrated by his refusal to rest content with the formless absorptions he mastered under his first two teachers. See MN 36.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby Leo Rivers » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:39 pm

I would like to modulate this conversation just a little bit. I don't want it to become a cause of division.

The question if Shakyamuni was always a man is important because if the Buddha was a man then men following in his footsteps can not only reach the same place as he but they can make better maps to get there.

Seeing Shakyamuni as the genius first of a line of men and sutras as literature solves many spiritual problems and conflicts.

Because I'm an atheist, but I do believe in enlightenment, I believe that the distinctive ways of describing the path were invented over time.

Obviously each Age writes it's literature in the imaginary language of the day. Stories are the way we describe how things mean as opposed to how they work.

This is why I am in a way a get back to the roots Buddhist who nevertheless practices deity yoga.

I don't see the contradiction at all, the invention of the self in one image is the ultimate proof that all images have no self.

I do not deify teachers or lift any one lineage into a dimention distinct from all the others.

This doesn't mean "all are equally good"

This means when you deal with men and women you must deal with humbleness and humanity.
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Re: Buddhism and Manhood.

Postby PorkChop » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:47 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:I consider the Buddha a worldly being, a human being to be exact.
Actually, I should have been a little clearer. A human being that achieved liberation as a consequence of his past actions and his practice during his final incarnation. I consider him a human being even after his enlightenment. He still had to eat, drink, sleep, shit, he got sick, tired, old, etc... An enlightened human being.

As an aside, and seeing how we are throwing Sutta at each other, you also find accounts like this in the Pali Canon:
...


Pretty much with you on both points except when it comes to scope.

As far as the first point about being human, I would bring up all the accounts how he could purify any water, how he could accept any food (or no food), or his statement in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta about how anyone who's mastered the 4 jnanas could stay in the world for a kalpa if they so desired... Wouldn't say some sort of immortal, but far from a regular dude. Definitely think there was some lesson in him dying like a regular guy, because if he went out like Ananda or some of the stories of Rainbow Body, who would think they were capable of such feats? Furthermore, they might become distracted with that as the goal instead of Awakening.

As far as the second point, we're mostly on the same page except when it comes to scope.
I think it's pretty well accepted by all schools that his final lifetime wasn't the first lifetime that he practiced.
That sutta quote about persistence would HAVE to apply if it was a process of Enlightenment that spanned countless lifetimes.
Just happen to think he was pretty far along the path in the lifetime prior to his final one, so that once things were set in motion, they'd happen without seeming consciously aware of it. Of course it could also be a case of "hindsight is 20/20", but I doubt it.
The example of countless lifetimes of practice is a lesson in persistence, cultivation, as well as cause and effect.
(note to Leo: At the very least, even if rebirth doesn't prove to be true, it gets people to work hard at what they're capable of.)
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